It is 20 years since the successful Jabiluka Blockade, which stopped uranium from being mined at Jabiluka, located inside World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Remember and reflect on this win for land rights and the environment with this free screening of Fight For Country, preceded by 26min short film Trespass.
Fight For Country took 4 years and 4 weeks to complete. It tells the story of one of Australia's largest ever land rights and environmental campaigns, the fight to stop the building of a second uranium mine within Kakadu National Park. Made with the cooperation of the Mirrar aboriginal clan, the owners of the land on which Jabiluka is proposed to be built. What the film makes clear is that the Land Rights Act has is not enabling aboriginal people to control activities on their land, and that their political and cultural rights continue to be eroded. Fight for Country is a powerful and inspiring story of an aboriginal nation standing up for their country, and of the non-indigenous Australians who stood with them.
Trespass tells the story of the opposition by the Mirrar people to uranium mining operations in the Kakadu National Park area. With their language and culture constantly under siege, the Mirrar people began a non-violent campaign of resistance against the policies of the Federal Government and one of the world’s largest mining companies, ERA (Energy Resources of Australia). Both the Ranger and Jabiluka Uranium Mines and the mining town of Jabiru are in the middle of Mirrar country and meant an erosion of rights and self-determination for the Mirrar.
Yvonne Margarula is one of the Mirrar leaders of the campaign against the mining entities and the government, determined to preserve her culture and her way of life, and to protect her people’s sacred sites. Working with environmental organizations, the Mirrar used large-scale civil disobedience to blockade work on the mines.Yvonne has been awarded many international awards including the 1999 Goldman Environmental Prize, in recognition of the Mirrar efforts to protect their country and culture against uranium mining. The film ends with Yvonne Margarula’s arrest whilst engaged in a protest demonstration.
Trespass was directed by David Vadiveloo and released in 2002.